Global Warming Archives

Hysteria Begets Cash

Given this statement…

“There was a tendency toward alarmism, and that fit perhaps a certain fundraising agenda.”

…what subject is it referring to? Global cooling in the 1970s? How about global warming of the 2000s? Don Sensing has a poll going about what people think this refers to. One of the seven is the right answer, but the statement applies just as easily to the other six. Alarmism spurs research grants, “carbon credits”, and all sort of cash transfers,so it’s no wonder that there’s a tendency to make things worse than they are.

In this case, the statement is referring to the AIDS epidemic. While there’s no doubt it is a scourge, the UN is revising it figures down; way down.

The United Nations’ top AIDS scientists plan to acknowledge this week that they have long overestimated both the size and the course of the epidemic, which they now believe has been slowing for nearly a decade, according to U.N. documents prepared for the announcement.

AIDS remains a devastating public health crisis in the most heavily affected areas of sub-Saharan Africa. But the far-reaching revisions amount to at least a partial acknowledgment of criticisms long leveled by outside researchers who disputed the U.N. portrayal of an ever-expanding global epidemic.

The latest estimates, due to be released publicly Tuesday, put the number of annual new HIV infections at 2.5 million, a cut of more than 40 percent from last year’s estimate, documents show. The worldwide total of people infected with HIV — estimated a year ago at nearly 40 million and rising — now will be reported as 33 million.

Having millions fewer people with a lethal contagious disease is good news. Some researchers, however, contend that persistent overestimates in the widely quoted U.N. reports have long skewed funding decisions and obscured potential lessons about how to slow the spread of HIV. Critics have also said that U.N. officials overstated the extent of the epidemic to help gather political and financial support for combating AIDS.

“There was a tendency toward alarmism, and that fit perhaps a certain fundraising agenda,” said Helen Epstein, author of “The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS.” “I hope these new numbers will help refocus the response in a more pragmatic way.”

But…but…I thought the scientific community didn’t work this way. If the science is settled, it’s settled, not bought. Right?


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Shire Network News #108

Shire Network News #108 has been released. This may be the last episode of SNN, at least for a while. This is from the website:

I’m afraid we have some bad news. For reasons which are detailed in the podcast, this is probably the final Shire Network News, certainly at least in it’s current format.

We seem to have gotten ourselves smack-dab in the middle of the Blog Civil War that’s going on, and we managed to get ourselves ripped apart by the gravitational forces. Yes, yes, we TRIED reversing the polarity through the deflector array, didn’t work.

In part, the reason why “Brian of London” and “Tom Paine” in Australia have come to truce and treaty and the parting of the ways is the subject of this weeks special and probably last feature interview.

It’s with Filip Dewinter, leader of the Valaams Belang, the Flemish nationalist party in Belgium. As many of you already know, there has been a great disturbance in the Blog recently over the counter-Jihad movement cooperating with the VB and other European parties with questionable antecedents, such as the Swedish Democrats.

Shire Network News was offered the chance to put the tough questions to the man himself. And so, like idiots, we did.

And then…well, listen for yourselves.

For myself, “Tom Paine”, now that we seem to be in the Blogosphere equivalent of the week that Fort Sumter was fired upon, I reckon on lighting out for the territories for a spell, I figure I’ll be back when this has all blown over. And I’m sure all of us wish Brian of London great success with his family in their new country.

And perhaps it might be worth remembering that there’s a real enemy out there, and it’s not each other, m’kay?

Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of what my commentary segment would have been. Just think; you won’t have the opportunity to hear me sing “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport”. Consider yourselves fortunate.

UPDATE:  According to the site now, Tom Paine says that SNN isn’t going away, so you might yet hear this in an upcoming episode.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News, asking you to “Consider This!” The last time I did a Global Warming Update, it was for my very first contribution to Shire Network News back in April, so it’s about time for another one.The Nobel Committee says that, by raising awareness of global warming, the Prophet Al Gore (Peace Prize be unto Him) might have been instrumental in possibly stopping potential future conflicts over what may turn out to be scarcer resources. With that paper-thin connection to “peace”, they turned the Nobel Peace Prize into the Nobel “Leftist Accolade” Prize. Well, it may have already been that, if you consider that Gandhi of the Middle East, Yassar Arafat, was a recipient.

In any event, not everyone in the climate biz was thrilled to see the prize go to Al and the United Nations (which, incidentally, is a good name for a rock band…with apologies to Dave Barry). Dr. William Gray is a pioneer in the science of seasonal hurricane forecasts, and he’s called Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth”, “ridiculous”.

Dr Gray, whose annual forecasts of the number of tropical storms and hurricanes are widely publicised, said a natural cycle of ocean water temperatures – related to the amount of salt in ocean water – was responsible for the global warming that he acknowledges has taken place.

However, he said, that same cycle meant a period of cooling would begin soon and last for several years.

“We’ll look back on all of this in 10 or 15 years and realise how foolish it was,” Dr Gray said.

OK, if we do realize how foolish it was, does that mean Al loses his prize? Nah, probably not. He’ll just say that all his “consciousness raising” fixed everything. Plus all the particulates from the exhaust of his private jets reflecting the sun. But if Dr. Gray is right, shouldn’t he get the Peace Prize for raising the consciousness about the natural cycles of the planet, thus keeping a whole bunch of global warming alarmists from fighting over who’s fault it was that they were wrong?

The next item pits one lefty special interest group against a few others. Greenpeace is suggesting to Australians that, in order to hold down methane emissions from cows, that Aussies eat more…kangaroo! Well, the vegetarians are already upset about cows, and PETA is sure to hate this, what with the “cutesy” factor of the roos. Think of all the brokenhearted children when a politically correct Christopher Robin starts eyeing Kanga, with a lean and hungry look in his eye. So now, let’s all sing the new anthem of Greenpeace.

Tie me kangaroo down, sport
Tie me kangaroo down
They taste better than cow, sport
Tie me kangaroo down

Finally, here’s the latest action by DARE. No, not the anti-drug group, the not-so-well-known “Democrats Against Renewable Energy”. Over the years, Ted Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and Walter Cronkite, among other liberal luminaries, have been campaigning against wind power. That’s right, they’re so concerned about the fishing and boating industries (what one might call “Big Fish”) that they’ve actively worked against wind farms 5 miles off the coast in…oh, yeah, Nantucket Sound. Well, there’s your explanation. Wind power is good, unless it’s within the sound of my Sound. And again, it’s one set of lefties against another. Such entertainment value!

All we need to do now is get Al Gore up there to Cape Cod and see how “peaceful” things get. Then we could just sit back, throw another roo on the barbie, and watch the sparks fly, which I suppose would just contribute to more global warming.

Consider that.

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D.A.R.E. Strikes Again

No, not that D.A.R.E. I’m talking about Democrats Against Renewable Energy.

The Cape Cod Commission in Massachusetts Thursday denied Cape Wind’s application to bury electric cables needed to connect its proposed 420-megawatt offshore wind farm in the Nantucket Sound to the state power grid.

Cape Wind said in a release that it would challenge the Commission decision. The Cape Cod Commission is a local organization created by the state in 1990 to manage growth and protect Cape Cod’s natural resources.

Sen. Ted Kennedy and many residents who own coastal property from where they could see the wind turbines on a clear day oppose the project along with some environmental groups concerned about disrupting the patterns of migratory birds and the potential effect on local sea life.

The project’s supporters, who include other environmental groups, meanwhile claim it would provide renewable energy, improve air quality, lower electricity costs and increase the reliability of the power grid.

This has been going on for years, with other Leftists such as Walter Cronkite, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. opposing it, and indeed coming out in favor of “Big Fish” (if I may coin a term). I covered it back then (here, here and here), and apparently nothing has changed in 4 years. They want you to support renewable energy, but don’t put it in their backyard, or in their view.

Thanks for the example in “liberal leadership”, guys.

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Global Warming…on Neptune

The World Climate Report blog notes a report about the warming temperatures on Neptune, and how closely they correlate with Earth’s changes.

Neptune is the planet farthest from the Sun (Pluto is now considered only a dwarf planet), Neptune is the planet farthest from the Earth, and to our knowledge, there has been absolutely no industrialization out at Neptune in recent centuries. There has been no recent build-up of greenhouse gases there, no deforestation, no rapid urbanization, no increase in contrails from jet airplanes, and no increase in ozone in the low atmosphere; recent changes at Neptune could never be blamed on any human influence. Incredibly, an article has appeared in a recent issue of Geophysical Research Letters showing a stunning relationship between the solar output, Neptune’s brightness, and heaven forbid, the temperature of the Earth.

Click on the link to find graphs of how changes in Neptune’s temperature, Earth’s temperature, and the Sun’s output are strangely similar; about a 90% correlation.

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An Inconvenient Debate

While some schools are showing Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” without rebuttal, a university class is demonstrating that perhaps the global warming alarmists can’t handle balance.

Nick Shipley, an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University freshman, had just spent a week of classes watching two films with polar-opposite conclusions about global warming.

“After watching ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ I was relatively convinced,” Shipley said one day last month in class. “(Al Gore) did a good job in presenting his points very methodically one after the other. They all build up to essentially prove his point.

“After watching ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle,’ my thinking completely changed,” he said. “I kind of did a complete flip-flop.”

It appears that the reason we have more global warming alarmists, especially on college campuses, is that the liberal activists and media are simply not…well….fair and balanced.

To be fair, both sides do their share of exaggeration, but both sides should still be allowed evaluation.

[James] Wanliss [space physicist who teaches the class] said he doesn’t necessarily subscribe to either film, but believes his students — and the public — should remain skeptical of theories such as Gore’s explanation of global warming.

Other Embry-Riddle scientists are less outspoken than Wanliss, but one — John Olivero, professor and chairman of the department of physical science — allowed that skepticism is an essential tool of the scientific method.

“Science lives with internal conflict all the time,” Olivero said. “Part of what we have to do is continually challenge each other.”

That process, they say, leads scientists closer to truths that may be elusive for lifetimes.

The truths of global warming are, if not inconvenient, incomprehensible, Wanliss argues.

“The atmosphere is incredibly complicated, and we know very little about it,” he said. “We are studying a system which is so big . . . we don’t know what all the variables are.”

Pointing to quotes in magazine articles, Wanliss says Gore and the producers of the “Swindle” film are purposefully overstating their science as a means to a political end.

And yet the Left talks of their foes in Holocaust-denial terms. The stifling of dissent in Al Gore’s America.

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Environmentalist Roundup

Found a number of interesting articles regarding some of the radical environmentalist mentality, although the “radical” adjective is becoming less and less applicable, soon to be replaced by “mainstream”, methinks.

Paul Watson, one of the founders of Greenpeace and now founder and president of “Sea Shepherd Conservation Society”, says that humans are a virus (the “AIDS of the Earth”), and that we should reduce the earth’s population by 83%. Watson may have broken away from Greenpeace because they weren’t radical enough, but Wikipedia notes some high-profile supporters, some adored by the Left.

Sea Shepherd has many critics, but also many outspoken supporters including actors Richard Dean Anderson, Pierce Brosnan, Martin Sheen, Sean Penn, and William Shatner, environmental activists Dave Foreman and Farley Mowat, and the late writer Edward Abbey. Corporate sponsors include John Paul Mitchell Systems and Patagonia.

Sean Penn is often held in high regard with respect to his Iraq war sentiments, and he’s in the company of others not typically considered fringe. (I’ll still watch “Stargate SG-1” until the upcoming end of the series, in spite of Anderson’s name being on this list.)

In a similar vein, the “Optimum Population Trust” (Wikipedia entry) says that having more babies is a bad thing, at least with respect to carbon dioxide output. Well, at least here’s one left-wing organization that can say without a hint of irony, “Don’t have children, for the sake of the children.” The article notes that the developed world isn’t really the problem; it’s the developing countries (who probably won’t read the report) that he has issues with.

The population of developed nations is expected to remain unchanged and would have declined but for migration.

The British fertility rate is 1.7. The EU average is 1.5.

(As an asidee, this really proves Mark Stein’s point when he says that the Arab/Muslim world could install a Caliphate without firing a shot, by simply migrating and reproducing, since the Western world isn’t.)

What I find ironic is that the Left, where you often find imagery of back-alley abortions to buttres their points, is likly encouraging another back-alley practice.

China faces a looming baby boom as newly-rich couples find they can afford to pay fines incurred from having more than one child.

[G]rowing numbers of pregnant women are risking their own lives and those of their children by seeking back-alley deliveries to avoid fines for having more than one child, Xinhua quoted vice health minister Jiang Zuojun as saying.

Back-alley procedures are bad if more babies are saved overall, but they’re acceptable if they save the atmosphere. I’d rather that people didn’t choose either of these dangers, but look at the priorities on display. Someone’s holding a magnet to these folks’ moral compasses.

And then, appealing to our spirituality, Al Gore holds an evangelistic meeting.

“It’s in part a spiritual crisis,” Gore told the crowd in the Convention Center at the American Institute of Architects national convention. “It’s a crisis of our own self-definition — who we are. Are we creatures destined to destroy our own species? Clearly not.”

I will agree that poor stewardship can be a spiritual issue, but I see some problems with the connection he’s trying to make. First, self-definition is circular, and from my religious point of view Someone Else does the defining. Secondly, in spite of evidence to the contrary, Gore continues to preach about that global warming / hurricane connection that the climatologists say doesn’t exist.

These looming problems involve flooding and severe coastal erosion from rising seas and increasingly severe storms, more common and prolonged drought, and changes in the growing seasons and migration patterns of many wild species.

He’s got his own crisis to deal with. He shouldn’t bring in a generic religious message for pandering purposes.

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Podcasting Again

It’s been over a year since I hosted the last Homespun Bloggers Radio, a podcast of the late, lamented blogging group Homespun Bloggers. I was also a sometimes-contributor to the show, and I’d been looking for a opportunity to do that. Hosting took some time, but I figure I could handle a weekly short commentary.

Well, turns out I’m getting the chance. One of the podcasts I listen to, Shire Network News, recently advertised for more contributors since some of theirs were having scheduling issues. I gave it a shot and sent in an audition that fit their style; right-of-center politically with humor rather than anger. Turns out they liked it and actually used it in this week’s podcast, and now I’m officially an SNN contributor, joining Meryl Yourish and another new contributor, Tomer Israeli. I’m honored to have been added and I hope to hold up their standards. (Though if they’ll accept me, how high can those standards be, really?)

Click here for the latest show’s notes and links.

Here at Considerettes, I’ll be posting the complete text of my commentary with links. Well, no links this week, since I didn’t keep track of them since it was just an audition. But definitely in the future.

Hello, I’m Doug Payton, and this is “Consider This” for Shire Network News.

Welcome to a global warming update. We start in the Midwest and quote from an AP story titled “Spring Snowstorm Blankets Upper Midwest”.

More snow fell on parts of the Midwest Thursday, a day after a deadly storm grounded hundreds of flights, postponed a baseball game, iced up roadways and disappointed those longing for the warmth of spring.

“I think we are all cranky about the weather,” said Pat Rowe, spokeswoman for Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport, which had delays and cancelations Wednesday.

If this sort of weather makes one cranky, may global warming is just the ticket for a happier world. Forget visualizing world peace, visualize world heat.

And here’s more on that from the Chicago Sun-Times:

April snow’s the worst.

Forget what the weather forecasters said — you didn’t really expect this: a record 2.9 inches of snow, topping the mark of 2.3 inches for April 11 set in 1957.

Traffic was ridiculous, the Cubs were snowed out and the heavy wet stuff brought down power lines and trees across the city.

No, we probably didn’t expect this. But then, that’s what the global warming folks are predicting these days, the unpredictable! You may remember that a trek to the North Pole by Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen designed to call attention to global warming was instead called off when frostbite and unusually cold temperatures put the kibosh on that effort. Ann Atwood, an organizer of the expedition had this classic line.

“They were experiencing temperatures that weren’t expected with global warming. But one of the things we see with global warming is unpredictability.”

Yes, if the weather’s warm, it must be global warming. And if the weather’s cold, it must be global warming. And it we can’t predict it with any certainty at all, it must be global warming. Indeed.

Moving right along to Bismark, North Dakota, the Bismark Tribune notes a record snowfall.

A slow-moving, low-pressure system dumped a record amount of snow on Bismarck and even more on Mandan on Tuesday.

Road superintendent Chuck Morman said snowfall amounts were between 4 and 8 inches in Morton County. He sent out 11 motorgraders on Wednesday.

“We’re not in too bad of shape. It’s been spotty, with drifting in some areas and other areas where the roads were clean,” Morman said. “It’s a normal spring snow in North Dakota, kind of what we usually expect, though usually not this late. I’ve seen this many times in my 40 years with the department. Now, we can let her melt and start spring maintenance.”

North Dakotans are no doubt used to April snow, but I will reiterate that the veteran road superintendent noted that this weather is normal, not warmer. And, more notable, something like this doesn’t normally happen this late in the year. Is this a hiccup or a trend? I guess the fact that I’m asking a question about this, that we don’t know for sure, must mean it’s global warming.

And for those who may say that more precipitation doesn’t necessarily mean it’s colder, let’s take a trip through the southeastern US, where the AP is reporting another global warming disaster.

Heavy crop losses have been reported throughout the Southeast after last weekend’s frigid temperatures, and farmers are bracing for another expected cold snap next week.

In South Carolina, at least 90 percent of the peach crop was destroyed and officials said Wednesday they would seek federal aid.

“This is comparable to a hurricane,” Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers said of the damage to the state’s $40 million-a-year industry.

See? Just as Al Gore predicted more hurricanes from global warming! It’s uncanny! Similar reports have come in from Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky and as far north as West Virginia. Pity the poor farmer who has to deal with it.

“There’s not many proactive measures that we have available,” said Larry Yonce, who grows 3,000 acres of peaches in South Carolina each season. “We’re just hoping and praying that temperatures won’t get below freezing.”

Don’t worry, Larry. I hear Al Gore is promising higher temps for the foreseeable future. Except for the part of the future that is not foreseeable. Either way, it’s global warming.

Back to you, Brian.

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Morning Show Gatekeeping

In my hotel room watching the cable news morning shows (FNC’s “Fox & Friends” and CNN’s “American Morning”), I noticed that both were covering many of the same stories.

  • The war in Iraq, specifically the new insurgent tactic of reducing suspicion by having kids in cars intended to be a car bomb.
  • The issues surrounding the firing of the 8 US attorneys. Both networks had Democrats featured voicing their objections (Fox showed Chuck Shumer, CNN had Rahm Emmanuel).
  • The recovery of the lost Boy Scout.

But as much as I looked for it (and I left CNN on longer to see if they would cover it), “American Morning” wouldn’t touch, as far as I could see, the upcoming testimony of Al Gore in front of Congress on global warming, specifically the unprecedented considerations and concessions being made for him and how he’s abusing them. I kept CNN on long enough to start hearing them repeat the same stories (how to eat healthy at Chinese restaurants), so they had plenty of time to deal with it.

If it’s legitimate to cover Democrats questioning why the President will only allow administration officials to testify without being under oath (and it is a legitimate question and a legitimate story), why ignore this other major story about a former Vice President testifying to Congress? Could it be because it doesn’t look good for Democrats or global warming alarmists when Gore ask for more time for his opening remarks than anyone else, and that he requested to submit the written version of those remarks 24 hours ahead of time instead of the customary 48, and that he hadn’t submitted them as of the morning of his appearance? (An update on the website linked notes that Gore finally submitted them just a minute before his testimony in the House and a few hours before his Senate appearance. Not in time to do any research on what he’ll be saying.)

Those, too, are legitimate questions about a legitimate story, but CNN, if they gave it any time, gave it the shortest of shrift at best. And while Fox is covering stories that look bad for both Democrats and Republicans, CNN isn’t. So who’s a shill for whom?

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Conservative Conservationists

Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina had an article in the Washington Post last week (just pointed out to me) regarding conservative conservationists. No, nowhere near an oxymoron. His point is how the right should deal with the global warming issue, because if we don’t deal with it, the Left will, and you know what sort of big-government, economic takeover solutions they’ll come up with. (Think Kyoto Protocol.) Gov. Sanford make 3 points:

First, conservatives must reframe the environmental discussion by replacing the political left’s scare tactics with conservative principles such as responsibility and stewardship. Stewardship — the idea that we need to take care of what we’ve been given — simply makes sense. It makes dollars as well, for the simple reason that our economy is founded on natural resources, from tourism and manufacturing to real estate and agriculture. Here in South Carolina, conservation easements are springing up across the state as landowners see the dual benefit of preserving the environment and protecting their pocketbooks.

Second, conservatives must reclaim lost ground from far-left interest groups by showing how environmental conservation is as much about expanding economic opportunity as it is about saving whales or replanting rain forests. When corporations such as BP and Shell America pursue alternative energy sources, they not only cut carbon emissions but help cut our petroleum dependency on OPEC nations. When South Carolina restaurants recycle their oyster shells, they not only restore shellfish habitat but take a job off local governments’ plates and ensure continuing revenue streams for local fishermen.

Third, conservatives must respond to climate change with innovation, not regulation. This means encouraging private research and implementation of more eco-friendly construction, more energy-efficient workplaces and more sustainable ways of going about life — all of which cuts costs and protects God’s creation. It means looking past the question of whether your car’s exhaust melts polar ice caps and instead treating our environment as an investment our future depends on.

Read the whole thing. That last point is the key, but is predicated on the first two.

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Revisionist (Climate) History

Steve McIntyre, who’s done his own, unpaid, work discrediting the global warming “hockey stick” graph, notices some funny business when it comes to the reporting of historical temperature data. He’s noting that, in more recent reports, temperatures reported from the 1920s and 30s are lower than they were in earlier reports, while temperatures from the late 90s are being reported as higher now than they were then. The result is a larger reported temperature change during those 70 years. He’s also got a graph showing the changes in reported temperatures for each of the years, and it’s eye-opening.

Are the numbers being fudged by those with an agenda? It certainly looks like it.

Hat tip: Blogger News Network.

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